Will Hurricane Sandy Impact the Election?

Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, obviously the news of the week, could trickle over to next Tuesday, some critics are saying, possibly affecting voter turnout due to power outages. Currently, some 7 million people are without power — the death count is up to 33 — and estimates regarding how long it will take to restore power ranges from only a couple days to more than a week.

FEMA’s chief Craig Fugate claims Hurricane Sandy could indeed impact the election: “We are anticipating that, based on the storm, there could be impacts that would linger into next week and have impacts on the federal election.”

According to the UK Telegraph, FEMA is considering using federal resources to bolster the election: “FEMA was examining how much it can pay to help rebuild any polling stations destroyed in the storm.”

I suppose, the main concern is voter turnout, as power outages, if they persist, could shutter polling places, placing a burden on voters who might not want to travel farther or wait in longer lines to vote.

If anything, this is an advantage for Republicans. Just look at the two voter bases. In 2008, the Dems probably would have had an edge, because Obama mania pulled out voters who never voted before or who could give a crap less about politics — all so they could elect a black president.

Well, 2012 is a different narrative. A large chunk of the 2008 Obama-nauts are either disparaged or politically complacent. Meaning, any additional burden could stem them from voting altogether. Meanwhile, not much is going to hinder the Tea Partiers and anti-Obamaites from visiting the polls, because the “four more years of Obama” scare is all too real to them.